Fort Dorchester star 2018 qQB Dakereon Joyner won’t lie. He would have loved to have gone to Clemson and play quarterback. But that is not going to happen. Not after the Tigers would not recruit him strictly as a quarterback, And not after the Tigers landed a commitment last week from the nation’s top rated 2018 quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
This is not how Joyner thought his recruiting was going to turn out. He disclosed Sunday night for the first time that at one point during the process he thought Clemson’s coaches had come around in their approach to him and he was going to get his chance to play quarterback for the Tigers.
“When they (Clemson) first offered me, they offered me as an athlete and I felt like I obviously wasn’t a good enough quarterback for them at the time,” Joyner said. “As I grew throughout the season and kind of prove to myself that I’m a quarterback, I guess they kind of saw that. As they started losing ground with Trevor Lawrence, because everybody thought he was going to Georgia, which I thought too, I kind of made up my mind. They kind of started throwing the quarterback situation in my ears and giving me what I wanted to hear. But it’s all a business and I can understand that. At this time I feel like there’s no room at Clemson for me to play quarterback. I’m not scared of competition. Everywhere you going there’s going to be competition. But I want to do what’s best for me and I want to play. Everything happens for a reason. Clemson was always one of my tops schools but I’m not going to trip over it.”
Joyner expects more schools to move in on him now. He believes many have held off from offering him because they thought he was going to Clemson, and he said they were right to think that way.
“That kind of was true,” he said. “They were at the top of my list and when it came down to it that’s where I would have ended up.”
But Joyner isn’t waddling in self-pity. Quite the contrary. The state’s top ranked quarterback in his class and the newly named Gatorade Player of the Year in South Carolina harbors no ill will towards Clemson. Instead, he’s focusing on five schools right now that are committed to him as a quarterback prospect…USC, Georgia, Louisville, NC State and Virginia Tech. And from that group, he has the Gamecocks, Wolfpack and Cardinals as his top three.
Joyner will visit Virginia Tech January 15th and Georgia February 17th for junior day activities. He doesn’t have a set date to visit USC because he can get there anytime there’s a function the Gamecocks want him to attend.
USC head coach Will Muschamp, according to Joyner, checks in with him every day, and he also hears regularly from others on the staff.
“We just have casual conversations,” Joyner said. “The last game he went to was the Dutch Fork game in which we lost. He said he liked the way I fought to the end, the kind of leader I am and how competitive I am. Most definitely I think the program is going somewhere. They had kind of a turning point with the young guys. Coach Muschamp is all about playing the best guy. The younger guys playing in the program are growing up. You can tell the program is improving.”
Muschamp has offers out to other quarterbacks for the 2018 class and he has not told Joyner he’s the only one he wants in the class, but he has told him he is THE one he wants in the class.
“He has mentioned to me that I am that guy that they want, the kind of quarterback that they want,” he said. “He said I’m a good quarterback and he’s looking forward to coaching me. Coach Roper said the same thing. I just need the right coaching. My next step is college and I want them to prepare me for the next step after that.”
Joyner has set June 18th for his announcement date and he plans to stick with that. He will be an early graduate in December of 2017.
This season he passed for 3642 yards and 44 touchdowns and rushed for 1089 yards and 12 touchdowns.